SERMON OF THE WEEK:
Handling Mistreatments: Luke 6:27-36
A man realized how powerful his nannyís influence had on him when he has grown up and was taught about being merciful to those who have mistreated you. He found it to be difficult and unfair to follow the teaching of the Bible because his nanny used to teach him to do better to those who had treated him well, and to do worse to those who had treated him badly.† She told him that this is the ONLY way and the FAIR way to deal with mistreatments.
WHAT IS MISTREATMENT?
A mistreatment is a treatment you receive unfairly, incorrectly or unjustly.† A mistreatment is not an act of punishment for doing wrong.† Punishment for wrong doing is fair and just.† But if a bad treatment directed at you for no reason or fault on you, that is a mistreatment.
WHY DO MISTREATMENTS EXIST?
Mistreatments exits because of menís failure to do right from wrong, menís sin.† Because of the sinful nature of men, we lost the power/ability to do right and fail to resist the urge to do wrong.† The selfishness of man prompts him to do things for his own benefit even that hurt or inflict pain on others.† We see mistreatments everywhere. CEOs robbed their companies millions of dollars as bonuses while their companies were crumbling and workers didnít get paid for their work and investors had lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of the mismanagement of these CEOs.† We see innocent people are hurt by those who are rich and powerful.† Names of good people were smeared with unfound scandals and slanders. Powerful people can do all wrongs and get away from it because of their connection, money and/or they have cleaver lawyers.† This is the true face of this corrupted world.† If you think this is not fair, you are not the only one, but mistreatments will surely continue to happen to you or someone else.
MANíS WAY OF HANDLING MISTREATMENTS:
The nanny and her belief in handling mistreatments is not new.† It has been there for thousands of years: AN EYE FOR AN EYE, A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.† Sometimes, men even glorify this kind of vengeful reactions to mistreatments.† They claim that only by doing this, wrongs will become rights.† But there are two dangers in doing so:
1) If this GET-EVEN formula is followed, how are we going to settle conflicts in a peaceful way? If all that we know is get-even, how are we going to stop the snowball from rolling and getting out of control?† Many small mistreatments had grown into huge conflicts, even wars, between parties unnecessarily if they halted before it was too late.
2) If all we know is to REACT to actions of others, we have lost one of the most important dignities of being human: the SELF. When we lost control of our SELF, and do things to react to others, we have lost much of the value of being an individual.† Others and their actions have controlled you, and thatís a SAD thing.
There are many good reasons to handle mistreatments Godís way. Just list a few.
1) Handling mistreatments Godís way demonstrates your trust God. By following Godís way, you trust that God loves you, and He will never allow things happened to hurt you. You trust Him that He always knows better in all things, including mistreatments. You trust that if there is going to be a payback, God will do better than you will to those who had mistreated you.
2) Handling mistreatments with mercy and forgiveness can promote more than peace among people, it will also benefit you: less stress, less worry and hatred, less sleepless nights, more peace in you mind, happier face and the heart, kinder and gentler attitude to others, better taste of food and smoother digestion system,† just to list a few.† It is awful to hold anger and vengeance against others, even to those who had mistreated you.
3) Handling mistreatments Godís way is the ONLY way we will receive mercy and forgiveness from God and that is exactly the words of our Lord Jesus in Matt. 18:35.† No one could ever imagine how it would be like if God pays back according to what we deserve. So, be merciful to others is not that bad after all.
We face mistreatments often enough to know it is part of real life.† Sometimes we mistreat others without our knowing it.† This is true because of being human.† The only place where there in no mistreatment is heaven where we are all heading someday.† But before we go there, let us handle mistreatments properly by following Godís formula that others may see us and recognize that we are children of the Heavenly Father.